Thursday 20th September 2018

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘silver’

Caution steadies the hand for Canada’s top miners: PwC

March 1st, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 1, 2018

Last year saw “few eye-popping deals and only limited financing activity” as TSX-listed mining companies responded cautiously to improved markets, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report. Like many of their peers internationally, the big board’s top 25 miners focused on “paying down debt, improving balance sheets and judiciously investing in capital projects as commodity prices largely stabilized.”

The findings come from Preparing for Growth: Capitalizing on a Period of Progress and Stability, released March 1.

Gold, the raison d’être for most of the miners, fell 3% during the year ending September 30. During that period the 225 TSX-listed miners (down from 230 the previous year) lost 4% of their aggregate value, compared with a 10% combined improvement for other sectors. Miners slipped to a 9% share of the entire TSX market, compared with 11% the previous year, holding ninth place among industries on the exchange. (Financial services came in first.)

Barrick Gold TSX:ABX, still the world’s top gold producer despite Newmont Mining’s (NYSE:NEM) challenge, held top place among TSX mining market caps as of September 30. The top stock was Kirkland Lake Gold TSX:KL, with a 175% price increase over the full year, following its billion-dollar takeout of Newmarket Gold. The acquisition represented part of a trend of “mid-market, intermediate gold companies looking to build scale and gain efficiencies through consolidation,” said John Matheson of PwC Canada.

Two since-merged companies, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan and Agrium, followed Barrick with second and third place among TSX mining valuations. Currently at about $41 billion, the potash combination Nutrien Ltd TSX:NTR has far surpassed Barrick’s $16.8-billion market cap.

Nearly half of the 225 companies had valuations of $150 million or less. But the category between $150 million and $1 billion boasted 74 companies, compared with 59 the previous year.

Nineteen of the top 25 had exposure to gold, 10 to copper, seven to zinc, six to silver and four to nickel, PwC stated. The report noted increasingly bullish sentiment for copper, zinc, cobalt and lithium. The latter mineral did especially well for five companies, with an approximately 39% total increase in valuations over nine months to September 30 for Orocobre TSX:ORL, Lithium Americas TSX:LAC, Nemaska Lithium TSX:NMX, Avalon Advanced Materials TSX:AVL and Globex Mining Enterprises TSX:GMX.

But overall, TSX miners “raised only half the equity capital in 2017 that they did the previous year. And for the second consecutive year, there were no mining initial public offerings on the TSX.”

That contrasts with a more buoyant, although still cautious mood among Venture-listed junior miners reported in November by PwC, which found a substantial increase in market caps, financings, M&A and IPOs for TSXV explorers.

Download Preparing for Growth: Capitalizing on a Period of Progress and Stability.

Underground mini-bulk sampling brings Canada Cobalt Works 2.47% cobalt in Ontario

February 27th, 2018

by Greg Klein | February 27, 2018

Eastern Ontario’s former Castle mine gave up more high-grade assays as Canada Cobalt Works TSXV:CCW takes initial permitting steps for dewatering the underground workings and building a processing facility for another project. A 13-kilogram sample showed 2.47% cobalt, 23.4 g/t silver, 0.68% nickel and 1.83 g/t gold. A 14-kilo sample brought 0.91% cobalt, 460 g/t silver and anomalous nickel and gold. The company, formerly Castle Silver Resources, warned that the samples are selective and not necessarily representative.

Underground mini-bulk sampling brings Canada Cobalt Works 2.47% cobalt in Ontario

Two mini-bulk samples released in early December graded 3.124% and 1.036% cobalt, along with silver and nickel. Assays are pending from last summer’s 2,405-metre surface drill campaign, from where a single intercept released so far graded 1.55% cobalt, along with nickel, gold and silver over 0.65 metres.

The company’s now preparing to apply for government permission to dewater levels two to 11 of the former mine, which operated intermittently between 1917 and 1989.

With plans to build a 600-tpd gravity flotation cyanidation mill, Canada Cobalt has retained an engineering firm to begin earthworks studies for permitting. The plant would be financed by Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM to process material from its project near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, about 200 road kilometres away. Granada’s gold project reached pre-feasibility in 2014 and a resource update in June.

Canada Cobalt also holds the former Beaver mine in Ontario’s Cobalt camp, about 80 kilometres southeast of the flagship Castle project. In December the company released assays for three composite samples that averaged 4.68% cobalt, 3.09% nickel, 46.9 g/t silver and 0.08 g/t gold.

A private placement that closed in mid-January brought the company $1.03 million.

Trans-Atlantic treasures

February 26th, 2018

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

by Greg Klein

Two years of escalating prices and several years of historic work have Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO in an exceptionally sanguine mood. Following December’s oversubscribed $4.24-million cash infusion and last month’s TSXV approval to close the Brazilian acquisition, the company announced a breathtakingly ambitious timeline for its Salobro zinc project. Should all go to a very optimistic plan, the company would advance from updating an historic resource to completing pre-feas and mine permitting within two to three years.

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

Should success reward optimism, Salobro
could reach pre-feasibility next year.

The 1,210-hectare former Vale NYSE:VALE project’s located in southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, where regional infrastructure includes a zinc smelter, paved roads, rail, water and power.

Salobro comes with an historic, non-43-101 Vale-compiled resource of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent lying at shallow depth and showing expansion potential along strike and down dip. The geology suggests either a Mississippi Valley-type or sedimentary exhalative deposit, Emerita says. A standout among historic intervals assayed 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres.

The acquisition would give Emerita a 75% stake in Salobro and the right to pick up the remaining 25% from IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. Vale, meanwhile, has begun the process of withdrawing a civil claim against IMS concerning ownership of the property, Emerita stated. The company expects to close the deal by the end of March.

“Ambitious” might be an understatement for such an optimistic timeline. But the project “has consistently exceeded our expectations during our scoping and analysis phase,” says newly appointed CEO Michael Timmins. The veteran of Agnico Eagle Mines’ (TSX:AEM) expansion from one to nine operations adds, “We are encouraged by the outcome of this early mine study and are very excited to have the opportunity to utilize our award-winning mine-building team in Brazil to fast-track the development of Salobro.”

With that in mind the company foresees a 43-101 technical report filed by the end of March, a 43-101 resource by the end of Q2, 3,500 metres of exploration drilling to begin in early March, a PEA complete by the end of Q3, baseline enviro studies beginning in Q3, a pre-feas finished by Q3 2019 and mine development permits in hand by Q2 2020.

Obviously such an agenda depends on favourable outcomes at every stage. The company has already been resampling historic core for the new resource, which will also include upcoming step-out holes to expand the deposit’s shallow areas. A conceptual mine plan will build on info inherited from Vale.

Emerita credits its Brazilian team with significant involvement in projects including Belo Sun Mining’s (TSX:BSX) Volta Grande gold project and Aguia Resources’ (TSXV:AGRL) Tres Estradas phosphate deposit.

The deal calls for Emerita to pay Vale an initial US$350,000 after IMS turns Salobro over to a subsidiary held 75% by Emerita and 25% by IMS. Once Vale formally withdraws its claim against IMS, Emerita pays Vale legal costs of approximately 760,000 reals, about C$297,000. Further payments to Vale would cost Emerita US$1.65 million by July 14, US$1.5 million in 2020 and another US$3 million in 2024.

Emerita may buy out the IMS 25% for C$2 million and a million shares by 2021.

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

The Plaza Norte agenda aims for a late-
2019 preliminary economic assessment.

Helping on the financial side will be December’s oversubscribed $4.24-million private placement. But some of that cash will go to another Emerita zinc project—and for that, the focus shifts to northern Spain.

Situated next to the former Reocin mine that produced about 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003, the 3,600-hectare Plaza Norte property sits amid regional infrastructure including rail, road and port facilities, along with a Glencore zinc smelter about 180 road kilometres away. The project is a 50/50 JV with the Aldesa Group, a specialized construction and infrastructure firm operating in Spain and internationally.

Emerita’s Spanish team now has permitting underway for a 5,000-metre campaign anticipated to start in May. The plan is to build a 43-101 resource over an area that’s already seen more than 300 holes totalling about 73,000 metres. Some historic intercepts include 9.72% zinc and 0.09% lead over 18.96 metres, along with 7.05% zinc and 0.3% lead over 8.2 metres. The company anticipates an initial resource in Q1 next year and a PEA by 2019 year-end.

Meanwhile Emerita awaits resolution of disputed ownership concerning two other Spanish zinc properties, Paymogo and Aznalcollar. The latter’s Los Frailes deposit hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate showing 20 million tonnes averaging 6.65% zinc, 3.87% lead, 0.29% copper and 148 ppm silver. The company considers the project ready for feasibility studies.

Paymogo’s La Infanta deposit has another historic, non-43-101 estimate of 800,000 tonnes averaging 1.77% copper, 6.91% lead, 12.66% zinc and 148 g/t silver. About seven kilometres away, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit holds an historic, non-43-101 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 1.1% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Resource update precedes PEA for Golden Dawn Minerals’ newest B.C. gold-polymetallic project

January 23rd, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 23, 2018

Update: On February 6, 2018, Golden Dawn Minerals reported that Huakan International Mining, which optioned J&L to Golden Dawn, faced a lawsuit from Armex Mining, which claims it has a valid letter of intent with Huakan concerning J&L. Huakan intends to defend the Armex action, Golden Dawn added.

Calling it one of western Canada’s “largest undeveloped gold mineral resources,” Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM released a new estimate for J&L, a southern British Columbia project acquired just last month. The company now expects to finish a preliminary economic assessment within five to eight months for a project that will be developed separately from the Greenwood portfolio farther south, where Golden Dawn plans to revive three former mines and a nearby mill.

Totals for four zones at J&L showed:

  • measured and indicated: 5.16 million tonnes averaging 4.59 g/t gold and 55.6 g/t silver for 761,000 ounces gold and 9.23 million ounces silver

  • inferred: 4.8 million tonnes averaging 4.35 g/t gold and 60.6 g/t silver for 672,000 ounces gold and 9.37 million ounces silver
Resource update precedes PEA for Golden Dawn Minerals’ newest B.C. gold-polymetallic project

The highway-accessible property came with a rail siding and loading facility 35 kilometres south in Revelstoke, as well as a 40-person camp, maintenance buildings, workshops and underground mining equipment.

Incorporating lead and zinc grades, the company attributed 1.35 million gold-equivalent ounces to M&I and another 1.07 gold-equivalent ounces to the inferred category.

The four zones comprise Main, Yellowjacket, Hanging Wall and Footwall. Main extends over 1.5 kilometres along strike and 850 metres down dip, remaining open for expansion, the company stated.

Meanwhile the Greenwood revival continues as Golden Dawn prepares to begin trial mining at the Lexington gold-copper past-producer within months. The company’s busy, multi-project activities are summarized here.

Read more about Golden Dawn Minerals.

When the mighty fall

January 16th, 2018

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

by Greg Klein

Don Quixote comes in two guises. Bill Murphy of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee associates his group with neither.

Cervantes wrote of a delusional character convinced he was protecting the local peasantry from horrific monsters as the wannabe knight charged on horseback at a windmill. The words “Quixotic” and “tilting at windmills,” however, later came to describe not delusions but the pursuit of a real and noble campaign that’s also a lost cause.

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy

Understandably, Murphy would reject any comparison with the original Quixote. He also rejects the second interpretation because, while firmly believing in GATA’s legitimacy, he sees it as anything but an exercise in futility. Especially now. That’s the message he’ll bring to the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference with his January 22 presentation, The Gold Cartel, Sex Scandals and GATA.

The recent wave of scandals has taken down some rich and previously powerful people, showing limitations to their supposed invincibility. But to Murphy, there’s an additional lesson to be learned. Disturbing conditions of injustice or corruption can fester for decades, known only to a few. They become scandals only with widespread public awareness—and the ensuing outrage.

Murphy’s concern with market machinations began as he worked for a brokerage in the 1980s. Recognizing the burgeoning Internet’s potential, he began LeMetropoleCafe.com to express his views and those of others. An epiphany of sorts came in 1998 with the collapse of Long Term Capital Management.

“I realized something was wrong when gold was capped at $300 an ounce. We knew that LTCM had to get out of all their positions and they were heavily short the gold market. They couldn’t let the price go up because it would affect the positions of the bullion banks. They got together and stopped it and I realized the price was being rigged.

“At the time I thought it was just the bullion banks. Then I realized it was much bigger and included the Fed, the Treasury, the Bank for International Settlements and other central banks. It was much bigger than we realized. I started GATA with my colleague Chris Powell, who was a daily newspaper editor. That was around the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999, when we realized the market was rigged. We decided to expose it and try to do something about it.”

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

Nearly 20 full years have seen lots of GATA writing and presentations, along with some GATA conferences. But no big breakthrough. Undeterred, Murphy sees a parallel in current high-profile scandals taking down the likes of CBS News host Charlie Rose, NBC News host Matt Lauer, U.S. senator Al Franken and Hollywood bigshot Harvey Weinstein.

When allegations first surfaced against Bernie Madoff, “the authorities did nothing,” Murphy points out. Enron’s accolades included America’s Most Innovative Company, bestowed by Fortune for six years straight. “The people who tried to expose the company were fired.” But eventually widespread public awareness brought widespread public outrage.

“When you take on the rich and powerful, it can go on for decades,” he says. “Then all of a sudden the dam breaks. We now have mega-scandals with a senator and major media people having to resign. It’s going to be a major financial scandal in the U.S. when gold and silver prices finally blow up.”

Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction is going to take hold. As the cartel loses control, prices are going to explode.—Bill Murphy

The markets face other serious issues too, he acknowledges. “But in my opinion, number one is how artificially low these prices are because of what this gold cartel has done. Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction is going to take hold. As the cartel loses control, prices are going to explode.

“It’s going to happen and it’ll probably happen when many of us least expect it. But it’s coming because they’ve gone through too much physical gold and silver at too-cheap prices over the years. Eventually, when the horde moves in to buy, they won’t be able to stop it. Gold and silver are so cheap they’re the most under-valued assets on the planet. And they’re going to explode.”

Bill Murphy speaks on The Gold Cartel, Sex Scandals and GATA at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018 on January 22 at 11 a.m. GATA’s Ed Steer gives a presentation called JPMorgan and Scotiabank: Still Rigging the Silver Price on January 21 at 1:40 p.m. Click here for more VRIC 2018 information and complimentary registration.

King’s Bay Resources reports initial drill results from Labrador nickel-cobalt project

January 16th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 16, 2018

Although collared 150 metres apart, the first two holes on King’s Bay Resources’ (TSXV:KBG) Lynx Lake property both showed nickel-cobalt values above background levels over wide intervals.

King’s Bay Resources reports initial drill results from Labrador nickel-cobalt project

Lynx Lake has the Trans-Labrador Highway
bisecting the property, as well as adjacent power lines.

Hole LL-17-01 brought 0.058% nickel and 0.013% cobalt over 115.2 metres. LL-17-02 returned 0.057% nickel and 0.014% cobalt over 110.8 metres (not true widths). The thickness of the intervals and distance between the holes suggest “potential for a more localized zone of economic mineralization in the area,” the company stated. Assays for gold, platinum and palladium are expected later this month.

The initial drill campaign tested a small part of an approximately 24,200-hectare property. Under focus was the project’s West Pit, where airborne VTEM found a shallow anomaly of high resistivity measuring about 400 metres in diameter and 50 to 300 metres in depth. Historic, non-43-101 grab sample assays from the area graded up to 1.03% copper, 0.566% cobalt, 0.1% nickel, 5 g/t silver, 0.36% chromium, 0.39% molybdenum and 0.23% vanadium.

Other historic, non-43-101 grab samples from the property’s east side showed up to 1.39% copper, 0.94% cobalt, 0.21% nickel and 6.5 g/t silver.

King’s Bay now plans geostatistical and structural analysis to identify more drill targets. A field crew returns later this year.

Meanwhile a 6% copper grade highlighted last month’s results from the company’s Trump Island project in northern Newfoundland. Four of 15 outcrop samples surpassed 1% copper and also showed cobalt assays up to 0.12%.

In September King’s Bay offered a $250,000 private placement that followed financings totalling $402,000 that closed the previous month.

Golden Dawn Minerals sets B.C. gold-copper trial mining for Q2

January 15th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 15, 2018

With dewatering now complete, Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM plans to re-start a southern British Columbia past-producer within months, moving to full production in the latter half of the year. The company pronounced the former Lexington mine’s underground workings, east portal and decline to be in excellent condition, where a previous operator extracted 5,486 ounces of gold, 3,247 ounces of silver and 860,259 pounds of copper between April and December 2008.

Golden Dawn Minerals sets B.C. gold-copper trial mining for Q2

With underground workings in “excellent condition,”
Golden Dawn prepares to restart the Lexington gold-copper mine.

Service buildings have been renovated. Still on the checklist is new timber for the mine’s west portal, a new ladderway for the fresh air raise and installation of compressed air and water, along with electrical and ventilation services.

Lexington’s rehab coincides with that of the Greenwood plant, about 17 kilometres away. A 212-tpd mill that’s expandable to 400-tpd, it’s central to Golden Dawn’s 15,400-hectare portfolio of 31 historic mines, three of which the company hopes to re-start without de-risking at the feasibility level. Lexington’s remaining start-up costs are pegged at about $2 million.

While consultants now have a mine plan in progress, underground mapping and sampling are planned for later this month. The former mine has a 2016 resource with a base case cutoff of 3.5 g/t gold-equivalent:

  • measured: 58,000 tonnes averaging 6.98 g/t gold and 1.1% copper (8.63 g/t gold-equivalent) for 16,100 gold-equivalent ounces

  • indicated: 314,000 tonnes averaging 6.38 g/t gold and 1.04% copper (7.94 g/t gold-equivalent) for 80,200 gold-equivalent ounces

  • inferred: 12,000 tonnes averaging 4.42 g/t gold and 1.03% copper (5.96 g/t gold-equivalent) for 2,300 gold-equivalent ounces

Meanwhile the company awaits 14 holes of assays from the nearby Golden Crown drill program that wrapped up last month. That past-producer also hosts a 2016 resource with a 3.5 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff:

  • indicated: 163,000 tonnes averaging 11.09 g/t gold and 0.56% copper (11.93 g/t gold-equivalent) for 62,500 gold-equivalent ounces

  • inferred: 42,000 tonnes averaging 9.04 g/t gold and 0.43% copper (9.68 g/t gold-equivalent) for 13,100 gold-equivalent ounces

Further drilling is planned northwest, along a three-kilometre mineralized zone onto the JD property, from where the company reported high-grade gold samples last October.

The former May Mac silver-gold mine constitutes a third past-producing priority with another 2017 drill program.

Golden Dawn’s property package sits about 500 kilometres by highway east of Vancouver.

The company also reported a private placement that closed on $337,500 that came entirely from Quorum Capital Inc, wholly owned by Golden Dawn president Wolf Wiese.

Read more about Golden Dawn Minerals.

Kapuskasing drills near-surface Newfoundland copper in historic mining region

January 11th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 11, 2018

The past-producing area’s first significant drill program since the 1960s supported historic reports of copper at northern Newfoundland’s Lady Pond property, Kapuskasing Gold TSXV:KAP reports. An initial eight holes totalling 780 metres focused on two parallel zones about a kilometre apart, the Twin Pond and Sterling prospects. Among the highlights were Sterling hole KSP17-03:

  • 1.54% copper over 3.56 metres, starting at 71 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5.69% over 0.8 metres)
Kapuskasing drills near-surface Newfoundland copper in historic mining region

Also at Sterling, KSP17-04 showed:

  • 1.7% over 1.2 metres, starting at 26 metres
  • (including 12.9% over 0.13 metres)

Twin Pond’s KTP17-01 showed:

  • 0.31% over 9.04 metres, starting at 56.96 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 0.48 metres)

KTP17-02, again at Twin Pond, revealed:

  • 0.69% over 16.39 metres, starting at 35.61 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.33 metres)
  • (and including 0.98% over 8 metres)
  • (which included 1.48% over 3 metres)

  • 1.66% over 2 metres, starting at 63 metres
  • (including 2.28% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t available.

The autumn campaign found significant mineralization despite inaccurate historic info. “It was not until hole KTP17-03 was collared that it became clear the historic holes were plotted approximately 50 metres away from their proper locations,” Kapuskasing noted. “Given this new information, the best grades noted historically were not duplicated during this drill program.”

Based on 1960s work, Sterling hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of about one million tonnes averaging 1% copper, reportedly open in all directions. Historic, non-43-101 drill results for Twin Pond have reached up to 4.2% copper over 3.35 metres, starting at 82.3 metres. Grab samples released last October graded up to 9.03% copper for Twin Pond, 7.19% copper for Sterling and 1.54% copper with cobalt and silver for the Lady Pond prospect.

Phase I left several priority targets untested on all three prospects. Now being planned is Phase II to attack the priorities and better identify the 2,450-hectare property’s high-grade zones at depth and along strike, the company added.

With logging road and ATV access, the project sits adjacent to the town of Springdale, near Newfoundland’s north coast. Rambler Mining and Metals TSXV:RAB holds a base metals mill 94 road kilometres away. Rambler also holds two historic, non-43-101 copper resources contiguously west of Lady Pond.

Two days earlier Kapuskasing announced its entry into the Gunners Cove area, where White Metal Resources TSXV:WHM and other companies are exploring a potentially unique gold-bearing geological environment. Kapuskasing’s newly staked ground lies roughly 200 kilometres southwest of the company’s Daniel’s Harbour zinc project.

In August the company closed private placements totalling $115,000, following a $201,200 placement that closed in June.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Kapuskasing Gold president/CEO Jon Armes.

Read Gianni Kovacevic’s comments on future copper demand.

Critical Quebec commodities

January 11th, 2018

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

by Greg Klein

A rare metal find on a property hosting a rare earths deposit becomes a project of its own under a new agreement between two companies. With a 75% earn-in, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE can now explore the niobium claims on Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Eldor property in northern Quebec, where the latter company advances its Ashram rare earths deposit towards pre-feasibility.

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

A map illustrates the mineralized boulder
train’s progress, showing its presumed source.

Grab samples collected by Commerce on a boulder train about a kilometre from the deposit brought assays up to 5.9% Nb2O5. “That’s right off the charts,” enthuses Saville president Mike Hodge. “People in the niobium space hope for 1%—5.9% is excellent.”

He’s no newcomer to the space or even to the property. Hodge helped stake Commerce’s tantalum-niobium deposit on southern British Columbia’s Blue River property, which reached PEA in 2011.

“I did a lot of the groundwork for Commerce in the Valemount-Blue River area and I was one of the first guys on the ground at the camp that now supports Ashram,” he points out. “I’ve been involved with these two properties since 1999.” That’s part of a career including field experience on over 25 projects as well as raising money for junior explorers.

Miranna’s grab samples brought tantalum too, with a significant 1,220 ppm Ta2O5. Forty of the 65 samples graded over 0.5% Nb2O5, with 16 of them surpassing 1%.

The company describes the sampling area as a “strongly mineralized boulder train with a distinct geophysical anomaly at its apex.”

The 980-hectare Eldor Niobium claims have also undergone drilling on the Northwest and Southeast zones, where some wide intervals gave up 0.46% Nb2O5 over 46.88 metres and 0.55% over 26.1 metres (including 0.78% over 10.64 metres).

Samples from Miranna and the Southeast zone also show that niobium-tantalum occurs within pyrochlore, described by Saville as the dominant source mineral for niobium and tantalum in global mining. That’s the case, for example, at Quebec’s Niobec mine, one of the world’s three main niobium producers, with 8% to 10% of global production. Moreover, pyrochlore on the Saville project “is commonly visible to the naked eye, thus indicating a relatively course grain size, which is a favourable attribute for metallurgical recovery,” the company added.

Hodge already has a prospective drill target in mind. “I pulled the rig around with a Cat for a lot of the holes on Ashram itself so I’m very familiar with the ground. We’d of course do more prospecting and try to prove up some more numbers while we’re drilling.”

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

Should Saville find success, a ready market would be waiting. The company cites niobium demand growth forecasts of 7.66% CAGR from 2017 to 2021. A December U.S. Geological Survey report lists niobium and tantalum among 23 minerals critical to American security and well-being.

The country relies on foreign exports for its entire supply of both minerals, according to an earlier USGS study. From 2012 to 2015, 80% of America’s total niobium imports came from Brazil, where one mine alone produces 85% to 90% of global supply. Looking at tantalum imports during that period, the U.S. relied on China for 37% and Kazakhstan for another 25%. A troubling source of tantalum remains the Democratic Republic of Congo, from where conflict minerals reach Western markets through murky supply chains.

Days after the USGS released its December study, American president Donald Trump ordered a federal strategy “to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.” Although he emphasized the need for domestic deposits and supply chains, Trump also called for “options for accessing and developing critical minerals through investment and trade with our allies and partners.”

Meanwhile Saville also sees potential in Covette, the company’s other northern Quebec property. Historic, non-43-101 grab samples reported up to 4.7% molybdenum, with some bismuth, lead, silver and copper. A 1,402-line-kilometre VTEM survey in late 2016 found prospectivity for base and precious metals. “The VTEM and some sampling that we did indicates that drilling could find something valuable,” Hodge says. “Although it is early-stage, the Geotech guys that did the VTEM survey said they hadn’t seen targets like that all year.”

Still, “the niobium claims are my first priority,” Hodge emphasizes. “I’m very excited about this. I believe we can have a winning project here.”

Subject to approvals, a 75% interest in the new property would call for $25,000 on signing, another $225,000 on closing and $5 million in work over five years. Commerce retains a 1% or 2% NSR, depending on the claim, with Saville holding a buyback option.

Last month the company offered private placements totalling up to $500,000, with insiders intending to participate.

Read more about the U.S. critical minerals strategy.

Visual Capitalist and VRIC 2018 look at the raw materials that fuel the green revolution

January 10th, 2018

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | January 10, 2018

 

Records for renewable energy consumption were smashed around the world in 2017.

Looking at national and state grids, progress has been extremely impressive. In Costa Rica, for example, renewable energy supplied five million people with all of their electricity needs for a stretch of 300 consecutive days. Meanwhile, the UK broke 13 green energy records in 2017 alone, and California’s largest grid operator announced it got 67.2% of its energy from renewables (excluding hydro) on May 13, 2017.

The corporate front also looks promising and Google has led the way by buying 536 MW of wind power to offset 100% of the company’s electricity usage. This makes the tech giant the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy on the planet.

But while these examples are plentiful, this progress is only the tip of the iceberg—and green energy still represents a small but rapidly growing segment. For a full green shift to occur, we’ll need 10 times what we’re currently sourcing from renewables.

To do this, we will need to procure massive amounts of natural resources—they just won’t be the fossil fuels that we’re used to.

Green metals required

Today’s infographic comes from Cambridge House as a part of the lead-up to its flagship conference, the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018.

A major theme of the conference is sustainable energy—and the math indeed makes it clear that to fully transition to a green economy, we’ll need vast amounts of metals like copper, silicon, aluminum, lithium, cobalt, rare earths and silver.

These metals and minerals are needed to generate, store and distribute green energy. Without them, the reality is that technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, lithium-ion batteries, nuclear reactors and electric vehicles are simply not possible.

First principles

How do you get a Tesla to drive over 300 miles (480 kilometres) on just one charge?

Here’s what you need: a lightweight body, a powerful electric motor, a cutting-edge battery that can store energy efficiently and a lot of engineering prowess.

Putting the engineering aside, all of these things need special metals to work. For the lightweight body, aluminum is being substituted for steel. For the electric motor, Tesla is using AC induction motors (Models S and X) that require large amounts of copper and aluminum. Meanwhile, Chevy Bolts and soon Tesla will use permanent magnet motors (in the Model 3) that use rare earths like neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium.

The batteries, as we’ve shown in our five-part Battery Series, are a whole other supply chain challenge. The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs need lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and many other metals or minerals to function. Each Tesla battery, by the way, weighs about 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms) and makes up 25% of the total mass of the car.

While EVs are a topic we’ve studied in depth, the same principles apply for solar panels, wind turbines, nuclear reactors, grid-scale energy storage solutions or anything else we need to secure a sustainable future. Solar panels need silicon and silver, while wind turbines need rare earths, steel and aluminum.

Even nuclear, which is the safest energy type by deaths per TWh and generates barely any emissions, needs uranium in order to generate power.

The pace of progress

The green revolution is happening at breakneck speed—and new records will continue to be set each year.

Over $200 billion was invested into renewables in 2016 and more net renewable capacity was added than coal and gas put together:

Power Type Net Global Capacity Added (2016)
Renewable (excl. large hydro) 138 GW
Coal 54 GW
Gas 37 GW
Large hydro 15 GW
Nuclear 10 GW
Other flexible capacity 5 GW

The numbers suggest that this is only the start of the green revolution.

However, to fully work our way off of fossil fuels, we will need to procure large amounts of the metals that make sustainable energy possible.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

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